List making is a simple way to organize thoughts and ideas. I’m not an obsessive list creator, but I enjoy keeping lists of ideas and concepts that have an impact on my life. There are all kinds of lists that can be super useful, from a packing list for vacations to items you regularly purchase at the grocery store.
However, for me, the most important lists in my collection (other than my list of regular grocery purchases) have to do with reorienting me when life gets overwhelming.
So here are my three all-time favorite lists that have helped me maintain my mental wellbeing as an INFP.
1 - Make a list of things you have always found fun.
Benefits of this list: soothes anxiety and stress.
On this list, I write the things that I found fun as a child and teen and still enjoy today. I also added a few things that I didn’t start enjoying until recently that I don’t see myself letting go of anytime soon.
I created this list thanks to inspiration from The Fun Formula by Joel Comm. I hoped this list would assist me in tapping into what I enjoy as I work on publicly sharing my creativity.
However, when anxiety reared its ugly head this month, and I suffered anxiety attacks one after another, I realized that I seriously needed to change the direction of my thoughts.
So I took a day off from working with my husband and devoted a day to knocking items off my fun list, picking one thing from the top of the list, and then another thing from the bottom of the list, and doing that all day.
It was the most relaxing and fun day I had in a long time. And I got some writing done too!
Fear keeps you from feeling alive and holds you hostage. Fun reminds you that life is still lovely, even when there are things in it that gets you down.
2 - Keep a list of things you find fascinating.
The benefit of this list: Helps with focusing
The book The ADHD Advantage by Dale Archer, M.D. helped me come up with this list. I’m not diagnosed with ADHD, but it amazes me how the advice on organizing and planning that works for me is usually for people with ADHD traits.
In his book, Archer mentions how the focus of those with ADHD traits depends on how fascinated they are with what they are doing. Inspired by this, I created a list of things I find fascinating.
The cool thing about this list is that it also includes activities that I generally don’t find fascinating, but has aspects that are. Don’t be afraid to include fascinating parts of activities that you don’t enjoy as a whole.
For example, I’m not big into tracking financial information. Accounting–ugh. However, I can’t resist learning how to make the best use of my money. I don’t care much for the details, but I like to play with the big picture view of financial management and how to use what I have to support what I value.
As a side note about this book, I think it’s perfect for those who don’t fit an ADHD diagnosis but who show ADHD traits in their everyday life. At the start of his book, Archer has a neat self-questionnaire about how ADHD traits can appear in your life.
If you score a 10 on the self-test, most likely, you’re one of those people who have been diagnosed with ADHD. If you score between 5 and 9, you have significant ADHD traits in your life, but you’re less likely to be diagnosed.
I scored a 7 on his questionnaire, which gave me some food for thought. It made me see that it may be necessary for me to form a deeper understanding of how those traits are affecting my life and to pay more attention to their effects.
3 - Keep a list of where you flourish.
Benefits of this list: You know your values and where you belong.
The book #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso led me to create this list. In her book, she shares how it’s important to know where you flourish if you want to grow. For her, working with fashion is where she tends to flourish.
The best thing about this list is that helps you to create a solid idea of where you could be successful. To make my list, I looked back at areas of my life where I was happy and experienced personal growth. On this list are also physical places where I flourish, such as the beach and the book store.
Not everything on this list must be accomplishment-related. I also flourish when I take the time to daydream, journal, and tell stories.
Overall this list contains all the activities, places, and things that help me to grow, feel confident, and happy.
All of these lists involve reflecting the good times, which is important for INFPs in moderation since it uses the function of Introverted Sensing. But what I also like about these lists is that they encourage looking back at the past without getting stuck there.
By going through the activities on my Fun List, I learned new and fascinating things about the Japonisme art movement and how that led to the Art Nouveau movement, which I am falling head-over-heels for. Returning to old pleasures can result in uncovering something new. I hope these lists will lead you to discover the unexpected as well.
Any thoughts or list ideas you would like to share? Feel free to comment!